Runners move through Saguaro National Park East as part of the TMC Saguaro National Park Labor Day Run in 2010.

Benjie Sanders/Arizona Daily Star 2010

I’ve said it before, but August in Tucson reminds of New Year’s Eve. The hard rains seem to wash away the dirt and junk from the past year while the daily desert sunsets raise hopes for a bright and colorful time to come.

It’s part of a glorious rebirth in the Old Pueblo: school children head to class, the University of Arizona kicks off another year, and we have a bunch of running and fitness events to shoot for – just what we need to wash away our personal dirt and give us hope for a brighter fitness level.

So let’s see what opportunities await you in September.

Sept. 4: TMC Saguaro National Park Labor Day Run. The oldest running event in Tucson includes an 8-Mile Run and a 5K Walk/Run on Labor Day Monday at Saguaro East. Be careful: the paved road has easy footing, but the hills and the heat make this a good challenge. Raising funds for the Friends of Saguaro National Park, this event is calendared on the Southern Arizona Roadrunners event as part of their Running Shop Grand Prix. This year, the races are capped at 750 total registrants, so see for details.

Sept. 9: 9-11 Memorial Run 5K and 10K. This neighborhood race takes place at Vail Christian Church and raises funds for the 100 Club of Arizona and the Cienaga High School DECA Club. See

Sept. 16: Walk Like MADD 5K. Staged in midtown at Reid Park, this fundraising event includes a non-competitive 3.1-mile walk and for the first-time ever a timed 5K. See

Sept. 17: Inaugural TMC Tucson 10K, with companion 5K Walk/Run. This 6.2-mile loop of the Painted Hills area of the Tucson Mountains has never before been part of a running race. Raising funds for Cox Charities, the Tucson Symphony and Team Hoyt Arizona, the event is capped at 1,200. All registrants receive a free running shirt and commemorative medallion, featuring the Tucson Mountain skyline. See

Sept. 24: Thin Mint Sprint 5K. Staged at Brandi Fenton Memorial Park on the Rillito Riverpath, the Thin Mint Sprint is organized by the Girl Scouts of America, with children’s activities, a free T-shirt and post-race activities. See

Sept. 24: Everyone Runs Catalina State Park Reverse the Course 5.2 and 10.35 Mile Trail Run and Walk. Staged in the mountain trails of Catalina State Park, these events will take you through rugged trails with gorgeous scenery. See

Sept. 30: Sabino Canyon FitKidz One Mile Classic. One of the largest children’s-only races in the state, the FitKidz event is a free 1-mile walk and run starting near the Sabino Canyon Visitor Center. For children under 12, with prizes and T-shirts. See

Randy Accetta is Director of Coaching Education for Road Runners Club of America.